The advancements made in the fields of technology and automobiles has led many drivers to believe they are auditioning for the next Fast and Furious movie. This has contributed to car crashes being the number one cause of death for 5 to 29 year old’s and has claimed approximately 1.35 million lives a year worldwide. How do we to put a stop to these statistics? Pump the brakes on traditional traction. The Lotus Emergency Traction Control device I designed would offer the benefits of snow chains on ice and can be used in conjunction with current brake systems to provide a shorter and more controlled deceleration of a vehicle.
This is a retractable device that is mounted on the exterior of the rim using extended lug nuts that feed through the device and fasten into the original threads of the rim. The mechanism features a set of 16 individual spokes mounted between two rotating plates and fastened to one another. When the driver applies enough pressure to the brakes in a short enough period, a sensor on the brake cylinder will activate the device to rotate the exterior of the two plates which will elongate the lattice of spokes until they extend past the diameter of the tire and lock into place. This would transfer pressure from the wheel to the tips of the spokes which reduces contact area between the tire and road, thus creating more frictional force and increasing rate of deceleration. By pinpointing the force, this system will also create better control once engaged and lead to less spin outs whether on ice, gravel, or wet roads.
With 84.1% of the US population being licensed drivers, the critical role automobiles play in people’s lives is understated. By providing additional breaking measures, stop times will decrease and handling will improve, both of which are necessary to cut down fatalities that contribute to the 3rd leading cause of death in the world.
What makes this item unique is its hybrid of a design between traction control and braking system. Snow chains and other traction devices are sold after market but often go overlooked as they must be installed and removed on a case-by-case basis. The Lotus offers the same traction control for braking as chains, but with a more sleek, retractable design that is intended for year-round use without all the ongoing seasonal maintenance. Additionally, the Lotus is meant to be used in conjunction with current brake systems, meaning the driver does not lose the benefit of having an anti-lock brakes. Furthermore, this is an easily manufactured device as it only consists of 5 individual components.
Applications of this device are not limited to civilian use, but can easily be expanded to equip Jeeps, Humvees, and other military modes of transportation that are used in less forgiving off-road settings where traction is imperative. So long as there are wheels in motion, there is a need for this potentially lifesaving device.